For the next great ride, head for West Yellowstone, Montana, the scenic entry point to Yellowstone National Park.
Not only are the views of the Montana skyline and mountain range from a bike epic, there also is plenty to do during the warm months (and year round!) when it’s time to take a break from the ride. Outdoor activities, entertainment, good grub and comfy places to grab a coffee or beer abound. The southern Montana town of West Yellowstone is not simply a place to take a breather, it’s a place to stay and explore while breezing through the rugged terrain.
Continue reading to get up to speed on where to stay, eat and play in West Yellowstone.
As the closest town to Yellowstone Park and just minutes away from favorite attractions including Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, West Yellowstone offers a convenient lodging location for the ultimate Montana vacation.
Small in size but large in accommodations, West Yellowstone offers an array of comfortable and affordable lodging options, including hotels, guest ranches, cabins, RV parks, campgrounds and more.
Things happen on the road, so whether you need to fix a flat or get a prescription filled, West Yellowstone offers all the services you need along the way.
Eat, eat, eat
West Yellowstone offers a variety of dining options that will satisfy everyone — from freshly cooked homemade cuisine to authentic Western cookouts, with restaurants, diners, cafes, pancake houses and coffee shops offering experiences that are not only tasty but memorable.
Enjoy the regional specialties like trout, elk and bison, and be sure to top it off with a Montana huckleberry treat. The rustic history of West Yellowstone can be seen throughout many of the dining facilities, including historic lodges and even a vintage train car.
Warm weather things to do
Surrounded by three national forests, blue-ribbon trout streams and beautiful mountain lakes, West Yellowstone is the perfect destination for outdoor recreation and solitude. Spring brings rejuvenation and wildlife babies. Summer days are perfect for exploring the high country. Fall is a cascade of colors and the sounds of elk bugling.
Here are ideas for things to do when it’s warm outside.
- Head into the Custer Gallatin National Forest for a picnic
- Be awed by the spectacular sunsets over Hebgen Lake
- Grab your camera and find some hidden gems for that perfect photo
- Cowboy up at the Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo
- Take flight on a zipline at Yellowstone Aerial Adventures
- Make a splash boating on Hebgen Lake
- Take a hike and experience nature up close
- Bring your rod and reel and cast away
- Check out free music in the park or karaoke night
- Get revved up at the annual Yellowstone Rod Run car show
- Raft down the river
What riders need to know before visiting
Riding through Yellowstone National Park is an incredible experience, and with a few guidelines, Yellowstone welcomes bikers.
Yellowstone National Park has a maximum speed limit of 45 miles an hour, and some areas have a lower limit than this. This ensures that wildlife is protected and keeps other visitors safe and noise levels to a minimum.
Helmet laws are a little more complex: Yellowstone is spread over three separate states — Wyoming, Montana and Idaho — and each one has different laws regarding helmets.
Motorcyclists are advised to wear a helmet at all times to avoid breaking any laws, as well as for optimum safety. For further details, check the laws in each state and check where the state borders are within the park.
The speed limits and wildlife mean that sports motorcycling is not permitted. However, all kinds of motorcycles are welcome, so feel free to bring adventure bikes — these make good steeds for adventuring around the park, due to the uneven road surfaces, which can be slippery and attract natural debris, despite being well-maintained. Even at the lower speed limits, touring the park still offers plenty of opportunity for adventure.
Note about the floods
After the disastrous flooding hit Yellowstone National Park in June, roads and bridges were destroyed. The south loop of the park opened to visitors on June 22, 2022 and the north loop, with the exception of Tower to the Northeast Entrance, opened July 2, 2022 to all visitors.
Visitors can access all of the favorites, including:
- Old Faithful Geyser
- Grand Prismatic Spring at Midway Geyser Basin
- Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, including Upper and Lower Falls
- Yellowstone Lake
- Norris Junction to Mammoth Hot Springs
- Mammoth Hot Springs to Tower-Roosevelt
- Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass)
Visitors can access the south and north loops via the East Entrance (Cody, Wyoming), West Entrance (West Yellowstone, Montana) and South Entrance (Grand Teton/Jackson, Wyoming).
To explore where to play, stay, eat and plan a trip to West Yellowstone, Montana, visit their website.